July 3 – September 23, 2017 | Tony Gentile | The War – A Sicilian Story
Organised by Photolux and The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation For Documentary Photography & Film
Arles, France Exhibition
A self-taught photographer, reading the books of Ansel Adams and focusing on the works of major international photojournalists, Tony Gentile’s first assignment for Reuters brought him home to Palermo, Sicily.
On March 27, 1992, Tony Gentile snaps photos of two Italian judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, both prosecuting magistrates, sitting at a table. Within four months, both men are dead, assassinated by the mafia. Their murders set off massive protests in Sicily. One of Gentile’s photos – two friends sharing a laugh becomes an iconic symbol of protest against mafia brutality.
The War – A Sicilian Story looks beyond the focus of the murdered judges, covering street life, politics, many deaths, and an undeclared war that in the nineties hit an entire city. Stark black and white images offer both intimate and sweeping images that neither indulge nor make any attempt to evoke pity.
Eclipsing the power of documentary photography, The War: A Sicilian Story imposes an historical narrative that binds viewers to a local reality, immerses them into the emotions of that reality and forces them to reflect on the acceptance of their own or perhaps consider an alternative outcome.